Article
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

A high level of fragmentation of farmland ownership is an important underlying cause of land degradation and, at the same time, an obstacle to sustainable land management. This study makes the first-ever analysis of long-term trends in the rate of fragmentation. Our study covers the period from the earliest stages of the current form of ownership patterns at the end of the 18th century until the present day. On the basis of significant predictors that have been identified (initial fragmentation, population growth, historical development of inheritance laws and of the land market, natural soil fertility and landscape type), we go on to project probable developments for the period from 2016 - 2045. A total of 102,984 land parcels in 56 cadastral units in the territory of Czechia have been analysed on the basis of data from four years (1785, 1840, 1950, 2015). Our study considers the development of two basic indicators of fragmentation – Mean Parcel Size and Number of Owners per 100 ha. The Mean Parcel Size has decreased over a period of 230 years from 1.08 ha to 0.64 ha, at a mean rate of -0.26 %.year–1. During the same period, the Number of Owners per 100 ha has risen from 17.50 to 79.66, at a mean rate of 0.61 %.year–1. A detailed analysis of the development trends confirms significant spatial variability and also time variability of the rates of the two indicators. The analysis also shows their mutual complementarity: growth in the rate of one of the indicators is usually accompanied by a drop in the other. The general trend that we project for the territory of Czechia in the upcoming 30 years is that there will be further diminution of the physical size of land parcels (continuing fragmentation of land parcels) accompanied by a reduction in the Number of Owners (defragmentation of land ownership).

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Agricultural landholdings show a wide diversity across geographic regions [3]. Fragmented ownership of farmland is an important underlying cause of land degradation and is also an obstacle to sustainable land management [4]. Land ownership and operation are two distinct aspects of the same resource. ...
... The average farm size is inversely proportional to the population and extent of total agricultural land area available in a country and thus poor countries, generally with a larger share of population dependent upon agriculture, have smaller landholdings [4]. It is believed that one of the most important requirements is to ensure property rights and access to land for productive use and thus promote long-term investments for land management and reap the benefits without constraints [10]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing threat to sustainable agriculture is a major concern of planners worldwide. Human population growth together with increasing food requirements and competition for land use is leading to land scarcity for agricultural purposes. Farm size influences the extent of the adoption of mechanization and modern methods of farm management practices, which in turn results in increased productivity, production efficiency and agricultural income. We studied changes in macroeconomic factors such as dependency on agriculture, growth of the sector, the pattern of land-holdings and tenure rights across major agriculturally important countries, as well as the priority of agriculture for the national economy (i.e., the share of agriculture in the national income) and its relationship to changes in farm size. The data on the percentage of area under farming, population growth, size of the agricultural workforce and other social dimensions from 24 countries of different geographical sizes were analysed. We used parameters such as the extent of changes in cropland, family-owned land, the agricultural workforce and their productivity, number of holdings and their distribution, women-headed holdings and finally total and per capita agricultural income, and measured the changes over time and space. The published data from national and international sources were used to establish the relationship between farm size and farm efficiency measured through the selected parameters. The results clearly establish that the size of farm holdings had an inverse relationship with the population dependent on agriculture, share of agriculture in national income and tenure rights. Australia had the largest average agricultural landholding (3243 ha), while India and Bangladesh had the lowest (1.3 and 0.3 ha, respectively). The inequality in the distribution of farmland ownership was greater in developed countries than in developing countries. Female farmland ownership was less than 20% in most developing countries and the relationship between the number of farm households and farm outcomes was found to have weakened over time. India, a developing as well as an agriculturally important country, was subjected to detailed analysis to understand the spatiotemporal dynamics of the size, distribution and ownership patterns of agricultural landholding.
... Working in agriculture is no longer the meaning of life, but working like any other. In contrast to ownership parceling, where the number of landowners has increased from 17.5 to 80 owners per 100 ha over the last 230 years(Sklenička et al., 2017), large agricultural holdings predominate in the organization of production. The share of economically active people working in agriculture in municipalities with less than 2,000 inhabitants was 6.5% according to the 2011 population census. ...
Article
Full-text available
The article deals with the state of social farming in Czechia, which is obviously in its infancy. The main barriers to development are the character of Czech agriculture, which is radically based on large-scale production and deliveries to large customers, insufficient cooperation of individual ministries and too narrow conception of the problem as care farming. At the same time, we can expect increasing demand for this type of management in the future. Some ideas for improving the situation are presented, the most important of which is the recognition of social farming by the public administration and the creation of a legal framework for its development.
... Moreover, we also need to recognize that farmland fragmentation is multidimensional (Hartvigsen, 2014;Sklenicka et al., 2017;Postek et al., 2019). Early studies mainly focused on farmland ownership fragmentation (FOF), especially in central and eastern European countries where farmland abandonment initially occurred, such as Slovak, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, etc. ...
Article
Farmland fragmentation is an important factor of farmland abandonment in China, including landscape fragmentation in biophysical conditions and tenure fragmentation in property conditions. Both farmland fragmentation has different effects and different management strategies. However, it is still unclear whether the farmland tenure fragmentation (FTF) aggravates farmland abandonment and its extent when the farmland landscape fragmentation (FLF) remains unchanged. Therefore, we combined the large-scale sample survey (5479 samples) and geographical analysis to distinguish FTF and FLF, and use logistic regression and Tobit regression model to analyze the impact of FTF on farmland abandonment. In addition, we take farmland transfer as a moderation variable to explore whether the farmland transfer significantly alleviates the abandonment of farmland. Here we show that the farmland abandonment rate decreased by 16.8% when the average plot area increased by 1 mu (1 mu = 666.67 m²) in China, and in the place where the extent of FLF is lower, the impact of FTF on farmland abandonment is greater. And farmland transfer plays a significant regulatory role between the FTF and the abandoned rate of farmland. This study helps to distinguish our understanding of the impact of FTF and FLF on farmland abandonment and provides a scientific basis for decision-makers to reduce the abandonment of farmland, ensure national food security, and promote rural revitalization.
... Moreover, ecological consequences invoked by fragmentation also include biodiversity loss, declined agricultural efficiency, and local micro-climate change, which will undoubtedly lessen the agricultural ecosystem provisioning service [17], further holding up China's agricultural modernization. Currently, research touching on CLF has achieved fruitful results owing to the hard work of numerous scholars [18][19][20]. Current research on CLF mainly focuses on three aspects: the evaluation of CLF, the causes of the spatial differentiation of CLF, and the impact of CLF. ...
Article
Full-text available
The booming population and accelerating urbanization in the Huaihe River Basin have sped up the land use transformation and the cultivated land fragmentation (CLF), seriously impeded the advancement of agricultural modernization, and threatened regional stability and national food security as well. The analysis of CLF degree and its spatiotemporal distribution characteristics, along with the influencing factors in the Huaihe River Basin, is of great significance for promoting the intensive and efficient utilization of cultivated land resources and maintaining food security. Previous studies lack the measurement and cause analysis of CLF in Huaihe River Basin. To bridge the gap, this study introduces Fragstats4.2 and ArcGIS10.3 to analyze the spatiotemporal characteristics of CLF in county units in the Huaihe River Basin from 2000 to 2018 through the Lorentz curve, entropy method, and spatial auto-correlation method while the causes of the spatiotemporal differentiation of CLF in the basin were explored with the help of a geographic detector. The results show that the spatial distribution of cultivated land in the Huaihe River Basin is relatively balanced, and the Gini coefficients of cultivated land from 2000 to 2018 were 0.105, 0.108, and 0.113, respectively. More than 56% of the counties in the basin have a location entropy greater than 1. the percentage of landscape, area-weighted mean patch area, patch cohesion index, and aggregation index decrease year by year while the patch density and splitting index show an upward trend. The landscape pattern of cultivated land is highly complex, and the overall fragmentation degree is increasing. The county distribution pattern of the CLF degree with random and agglomeration is generally stable. The spatiotemporal differentiation of CLF in the Huaihe River Basin is affected by multiple factors, among which the influences of the normalized difference vegetation index, per capita cultivated land area, and intensity of human activity obviously stronger than other factors, and the contribution rate of the factors reached more than 0.4. The interaction effect among the factors is stronger than that of single factor, with dual-factor enhancement and nonlinear enhancement dominating. The results of this study have important implications for optimizing the agricultural structure in the Huaihe River Basin and alleviating the CLF in important grain production areas.
... At present, numerous scholars have carried out a lot of studies on CLF, and achieved fruitful results (Sklenicka et al., 2017;Looga et al., 2018;Liu et al., 2019b;Yucer et al., 2016). From the perspective of research level, traditional researches on CLF paid more attention to the fragmentation of property rights based on the farmers' perspective at the microscopic level, which utilized field survey and statistical methods to obtain household survey data to study the CLF (Looga et al., 2018;Ciaian et al., 2018). ...
Article
Cultivated land fragmentation (CLF) is a common phenomenon of land use in the world, which has an essential effect on agricultural production. Given the limitations of single level in the previous study on the influencing factors of CLF, this study utilizes hierarchical linear model (HLM) to explore the influencing factors of CLF from township and county levels in Jiangsu Province, and puts forward policy suggestions for relieving the CLF. The results indicate that the spatial distribution of CLF shows obvious characteristics in Jiangsu, which gradually increases from north to south. Besides, hierarchical structure exists in the CLF, and 43 % of the differences in CLF come from townships, 57 % from counties. Furthermore, the CLF is affected by multilevel factors, average patch area, GDP, the proportion of secondary and tertiary industries, population density, and road accessibility are the dominant factors at the township level, which explain 76 % of CLF affected by townships, and the main factors at the county level include average patch area, GDP, land use intensity, and urbanization rate, which explain 64 % of CLF affected by counties. Ultimately, a positive interaction with county-level overall guidance and township�level specific implementation should be established to alleviate the CLF. Specifically, at the county level, we should scientifically formulate overall planning of land use, and arrange land consolidation projects according to local conditions, readjust and optimize the economic structure, coordinate kinds of land demands and revitalize inefficient urban land. At the township level, while strictly implementing county-level policies, we should also promote land consolidation projects focusing on basic farmland construction and rural residential land read�justment, and pay attention to the overall layout of agricultural production factors, optimize industrial structure, and orderly transfer rural surplus laborers. This study provides a new perspective for the research on the influencing factors of CLF, and also has important guiding effect on formulating land policies to alleviate the CLF and accelerate sustainable utilization of cultivated land.
... u čtvrtinu zemědělské půdy (Eurostat 2019) a českému zemědělství dominují rozlohou velké farmy působící ve formě obchodních společností (Jančák, Eretová, Hrabák 2019). Zároveň pro Česko je specifická rozdrobená vlastnická struktura zemědělské půdy, kdy na většině zemědělské půdy nehospodaří její vlastníci, ale zemědělci si dané pozemky pronajímají (Sklenička kol. 2017). Současná struktura vlastnictví zemědělské půdy v Česku je tak podobná stavu v polovině 20. století, avšak faktická podoba české zemědělské krajiny je odrazem především působení systému současného produktivního zemědělství (Sklenička, Šálek 2008). Hospodaření farmářů v EU je výrazně ovlivňováno nastavením zemědělských dotací (Rizov a ko ...
Article
In the developed countries the share of agriculture in employment and economy is small, but a large proportion of land is used for agricultural purposes. Therefore, farmers have a significant influence on the form of landscape and land use. The goal of this article is to explain how the landscape form and land-use structure in Czechia are influenced by the farmers’ decisions. In the article mainly qualitative data were used. The analysis is based on the results of fifteen semi-structured interviews with farmers in the model area. The results of the study showed that farmers in Czechia have a significant influence on the landscape form and land-use structure, whereas these decisions mainly depend on their motivation to farm in a specific form. The results also showed that social capital doesn’t have any direct influence on the landscape form and land-use structure in Czechia.
... Notwithstanding a parcelling-off of ownership, whereby the number of landowners has increased from 17.5 to 80 per 100 ha over the last 230 years (Sklenička et al. 2017), it is the large agricultural holdings that predominate when it comes to the organisation of production. Even the average size of the farm run by a natural person is of 40 hectares. ...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last three decades, agriculture in Central and Eastern Europe has undergone very profound change. This first and foremost reflected the collapse of the communist system, as well as accession to the European Union in the case of most of the CEECs. The work detailed here has thus had as its cognitive goal the identification of trends regarding selected components of agriculture’s spatial structure which have included agrarian structure, agricultural land use, and the structure of agricultural production. Attention has also been paid to what conditioned the transformation, as well as the spatial differences that characterised it. With a view to these objectives being achieved, 11 current EU Member States in the region were analysed, above all by reference to source materials from EUROSTAT and the FAO.
... Thus, the impact of FF on farmland use has been a topic of interest for researchers. One view is that FF is the main obstacle to improving agricultural productivity and realizing agricultural modernization (Ali and Deininger 2014;Latruffe and Piet 2014;Sklenicka 2016;Sklenicka et al. 2017;Lu et al. 2018b). In contrast, many studies suggest that FF can enrich the agricultural production structure (Bellon and Taylor 1993), spread the working time of agricultural production across different seasons (Bellon 1996), reduce land ownership-related conflicts (Ntihinyurwa et al. 2019), and increase biodiversity (Thenail and Baudry 2004;Thenail et al. 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
Improving the ecological efficiency of farmland use (EEFU) has become an important part of ensuring food security and solving environmental pollution problems. At present, the Chinese government is actively promoting large-scale farmland transfer to reduce the level of farmer-/plot-scale farmland fragmentation (FF), so it is crucial to clarify the effect of landscape-scale FF on EEFU. This study applies the non-dynamic panel and threshold models in an empirical study of the municipal administrative regions along the Yangtze River Economic Belt (2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015). The results reveal that there is a single threshold for the effects of area, shape, and distance fragmentation on EEFU with farmland area per capita (FAPC) as the threshold variable. The threshold values are 1.548, 1.373, and 1.542, respectively. The effects of area and distance fragmentation on EEFU are initially promoted and then suppressed; however, shape fragmentation always has an inhibitory effect on EEFU. These findings suggest that ignoring the condition of FAPC of different regions and promoting large-scale farmland transfer blindly will give rise to the decline of EFFU. These results are conducive to the sustainable utilization of farmland and the formulation of related policies.
... After 1990 (Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation, 2016), when the land was returned to private owners, the irrigation set up ceased to perform its function for many reasons. It was an obsolete spraying irrigation technology, the land under the irrigation systems was owned by many landowners and land users (the average land area was 0.6 ha in 2017, Sklenička et al., 2017, and confirmed by the older source, Sklenička et al., 2014a). ...
Article
Full-text available
The main goal of the paper is an evaluation of the dynamics of golf course (hereafter GC[s]) construction in the Czech Republic (hereafter CR) after 1990 and an assessment of the impacts and the consequences of the GCs on the landscape. The construction of the GCs was evaluated from the point of view of the physical-geography with regards to human geography aspects with a focus on an assessment in relation to climatic, soil, hydrological parameters, land use and financial aspects. The paper is to present the localisation and the geographical description of the GCs and their assessment in the different regions of the CR. An original database was created for the purpose of the localisation and complex evaluation of all the GCs in the CR. The analysis was carried out on 114 GCs in the CR. These GCs covered a surface area of ca. 5106 ha, i.e., 0.06% of the total area of the CR in 2016. A significant share of the GCs was built on agricultural land with high quality (more than 34%), which is clearly a negative phenomenon. The reason for the construction of a large number of GCs on some high-yielding soils can be seen: a) in the low land price, b) in the low rent, c) in the negative results of entrepreneurial income (or in the surplus) of agricultural production up to the accession of the Czech Republic to the EU and d) the distance from large cities (location in regions) and spa town with rich clients. By 2004, the majority of the GCs had been built in the CR already. From the point of view land use, a total of 51% of the GCs area was registered as agricultural land in the Cadastre Land Register. Of the agricultural land, the largest share (35%) was registered as arable land and approximately one third of the GCs occupied permanent grassland. On the contrary, the other area, which should form the majority of GCs, because its areas are registered for sport activities, only accounted for 37% of the golf resorts’ area in the CR. The GCs were also built on areas affected by human activity (mines, landfills, fly ash). The area of the GCs in the reclaimed territory was approximately 942 ha, i.e., more than 18% of the total GCs area. The reclamation of such territories by the construction of GCs is one of the variants of the use of such territories. Having assessed the climatic characteristics, it was determined that 20 out of the total of 114 GCs were endangered by potential drought. The theoretical and actual water demand for the irrigation of 9 selected GCs in drought-affected areas has been compared. It can be stated that all the selected GCs manage the irrigation water very well, the actual consumption is in line with the theoretical need. The observed difference in water between the calculated theoretical and realised irrigation of the GCs in mm/m² of irrigated area, ranges from -10.8 mm to + 9.7 mm in 1 month for an individual GC. The study by model “runoff curve numbers” (CN) showed a positive impact of the grassland in the areas of GCs with regards to the direct runoff. The hydrological impact of grassing the arable land is positive, since it contributes to the retention and accumulation of water in the catchment area.
... The fragmentation of cultivated land is one of the main factors restricting agricultural scale operation, and it is a common phenomenon in many countries and regions, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, India, and China [27,[71][72][73][74][75]. Previous studies were mostly based on sample survey data and field interview data from specific times and areas [13], which have drawbacks that include small coverage, small sample size, and limited representativeness. ...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural scale management has become the inexorable trend of modern agricultural development. Plot consolidation and centralized land management are traditionally viewed as the premise and foundation of agricultural scale operations in Europe, India, and China. In order to quantitatively verify whether this view is suitable for Shanghai suburbs, this paper measured the dynamic evolution characteristics of agricultural land and agricultural operations scale in suburban Shanghai at the plot level and peasant household level, using landscape metrics and agricultural statistics methods, respectively. At the city or regional level (the suburbs of Shanghai), the driving mechanism of the change of landscape aggregation degree of farmland was revealed using principal component analysis and multiple linear regression analysis. The results show that (1) in the suburbs of Shanghai, the expansion of the plot scale is restricted by various objective conditions, and the plot fragmentation pattern is inevitable and will exist for a long time; (2) the degree of land management dispersion exhibits an overall increasing trend; (3) moderate scale operations at the peasant household level generally demonstrate an increasing trend and are not obviously correlated with changes in the plot scale; and (4) service scale operations represent the main remedy for future agricultural development; (5) the improvement of agricultural mechanization level was positively correlated with the cultivated land aggregation index (AI), but economic development, industrial restructuring, and urbanization were negatively correlated with the AI of cultivated land. The results show that the appropriate scale of management of agriculture can still be developed in the suburbs of metropolis against the background of land fragmentation and dispersion. Of course, it is essential to change the concept and path of agricultural scale management development.
... The category dealing with the localization of extinct settlements (Pacina, Holá 2014), paths (Svobodová, Hájek 2017) or urban forms (Popelka, Dědková 2014) were usually modelled (n=8) by the 3D reconstruction methods. Ownership fragmentation (Sklenička et al. 2017), ownership and taxation (Affek 2015) or tax relief due to meteorological extremes (Dolák et al. 2015) were categorized in another category (n=4). Lastly, there were demographic studies (n=2) aimed at fertility (Breschi et al. 2014) or migration rates (Quaranta 2011), included to seventh category. ...
Article
Full-text available
Historical and archival sources are of cardinal importance in landscape research addressing the processes and course of landscape changes in European regions. The Franziscean cadastre from the 19 th century is among the most widely used historical sources in Central Europe. We identified 1440 records, finally providing 104 articles reporting the use of the Franziscean cadastre for in-depth analyses in order to identify (i) the practice of the cadastral data processing, (ii) purpose and spatial extent of the study, (iii) use of complementary sources and (iv) particular land use/land cover classes under study. We have found the increasing attention towards the Franziscean cadastre as a source for landscape research reflected by the doubling number of records in the past decade with majority of the case studies located in Czechia (79), followed by Austria (9) and Italy (3). We have identified the trends in the use in landscape trajectory research and application to hydrology, agriculture and forestry. As regards the data processing, several issues connected with the methodology or design of the records were found (e.g. geographic information system processing description and data source specification). We further problematize the suitability of the supplementary data used and conclude our review with a set of recommendations to contribute to the discussion on the methodology of landscape reconstruction with historical datasets.
... Along with cartographic sources, additional information about attributes (land tenure, taxation) of a parcel is essential as it allows for a deeper insight into the societal relation to landscape. As for its sustainability analysis, they also allow us to explore past modes of agriculture (Krausmann, 2004) or parcel fragmentation (Sklenička et al., 2017). Such additional information is provided by the old cadastral apparatus, which includes numerical data for tax purposes, ownership and additional information made during the mapping campaign. ...
Article
Old cadastral maps represent a historical reference dataset for long-term land-use reconstructions. This study presents identification of inconsistencies in the nineteenth century Franziscean cadastre, one of the largest sets of old cadastral maps worldwide, by comparing three versions of the maps and written documents created in the same period. We identified all parcels and their land-use in the four sub-sources in six study areas. The overall share of inconsistencies among 5 771 identified parcels is 7.4%, with the biggest share of inconsistency in agroforestry and forestry classes. The most frequent inconsistencies are of ‘Not differentiable land use’ (n = 212) and ‘Different land-use’ categories across the sub-sources (n = 113). We conclude that the frequency of uncertainties in old cadastral maps may limit the validity of historical land-use reconstructions, affecting the eventual restoration and management efforts based on such data. We provide a summary for the use of Franziscean cadastre.
... Colombo and Manuel, 2019) and the resulting low purchase price (e.g. Gniadek et al., 2018;Sklenička et al., 2017;Muchová and Jusková, 2017a). The main cause of ownership fragmentation is the valid inheritance law (as mentioned by Noev et al., 2003;Sklenička, 2016). ...
Article
Land ownership fragmentation is currently a very topical issue in Slovakia. In particular, small farmers complain that even 30 years after the end of the previous (“real socialist”) regime, there has been no significant change in the structure of agricultural land use. The subject of the article is not the land fragmentation in terms of use. In Slovakia, the problem is rather the opposite. This contribution deals with fragmentation of ownership that is mostly invisible in the landscape. Usage still dominates over the ownership and the real landowner cannot get his or her own property in a simple way. The reason for this is huge fragmentation of land ownership, which makes it virtually impossible to actually claim it. Well known solution is the land consolidation that does not advance at a rate that would guarantee the rights (and obligations) of all owners in the foreseeable future in Slovakia. Neglecting the land fragmentation by authorities leads to tense situations between landowners and land tenants and also co-causes a stagnation of rural development and issues with landscape protection. The paper describes the specific state of land ownership in Slovakia and attempts to explain this complicated situation on a sample of 50 historical and modern ownership documents. This contribution has the ambition to specify the largely yet unresolved problems that arise from the current state of massive fragmentation of land ownership. The aim of the paper is also to fill in the information gap on the topic, not only in the national context. Available on: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1axDnyDvMBhpW
... Land-use changes in lowland European cultural landscapes were the main negative drivers that influenced both biodiversity [4] and the provision of ecosystem services [5,6]. Currently, the impact of land-use changes on ecosystems is accelerated by global climate change [7] and various other human activities, such as agricultural intensification [8], forest management [9], ecosystem fragmentation [10] and mining [11]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Surfaces directly influenced by mining and post-mining have risen to prominence in the field of restoration ecology. It is important to gain a better understanding of sustainable landscape management in lowland European cultural landscapes. Sand and gravel-pit areas were selected as study sites, where mining activities have been the main factor in land use over recent decades. The post-mining restoration of each area disturbed by mining processes was planned according to legally enforced technical and biological restoration protocols, as well as a specific document entitled the Biological Action Plan (BAP). The financial costs of BAPs for individual study sites were compared with the monetary value of habitats over three time periods. The economic evaluation was based on the assessment method of ecological harm to habitats carried out in Hesse (Germany). The results show that the restoration of target habitats after mining will establish and gradually develop new natural habitats with a higher monetary value than before mining, which become refuges of biodiversity in cultural landscapes. The results also indicate that the ecological restoration of post-mining areas can result in a higher monetary value of the restored natural habitats in comparison to the original habitats which were destroyed by mining.
Article
Full-text available
Reducing productivity and increasing production costs due to land fragmentation of agricultural and horticultural parcels is one of the main obstacles to achieving sustainable agricultural development. The present study carried out with the aim of investigating the factors affecting the land fragmentation in East Azerbaijan Province. So, identification of the factors could pave the solutions for organizing the current agricultural land status. The statistical population of this research was farmers of the agricultural sector located in East Azarbaijan province (N=212926). The sample size was estimated using Cochran formula and 380 people were selected by stratified sampling method. The research instrument was a questionnaire, that its validity reviewed and corrected using a group of academic researchers and experts in the field of agricultural land fragmentation in the land affairs organization of Iran. Reliability of the questionnaire was calculated by measuring Cronbach's alpha (0.85). The results of factor analysis showed that the studied variables were grouped into six factors: economic, physical-skeletal, social, regulatory, historical-religious, and agronomic. These six factors explainng 65.13% of the variance of the determinants factors of agricultural land fragmentation in the study area. The results showed that the economic factor (the traditionality of operating systems, the primacy of facilities and agricultural production methods in rural areas, the low agricultural land productivity, the distance from the source of water, the existence of agricultural laws and policies Inappropriate, lack of suitable cultivating pattern and lack of financial power of farmers to buy or exchange parcels) is the most important factor of agricultural land fragmentation in East Azerbaijan province.
Article
Full-text available
Old maps are a fundamental source for land-use reconstruction frequently used in biodiversity conservation and environmental management. In particular, cadastral maps as one type of old maps, depict both land tenure (discrete category) and land-use (continuous category); thus resulting in uncertainties in determination of individual parcels and their use. These uncertainties pose fundamental questions that are addressed in this paper: (i) to what extent land-use determined the delimitation of parcels?; (ii) how significant did the contrast between two land-use classes have to be to in order to delineate a new boundary? Agroforestry land-use classes were chosen as an example to demonstrate the approaches in the delimitation of parcels among different land-use combinations. We used Franciscan Cadastre, created in the mid-19th century under the Habsburg Monarchy (Central Europe), which depicts up to 10 agroforestry classes, to analyse factors that could influence delimitation of borders between patches (parcels) in old cadastral maps. The study area was located in the rural landscape of N Czechia, where approximately 10% of the agroforestry land area was used. We based our analysis on a detailed database of parcels and their land use type and property information. The novel approach to patch contrast indicator for old map analyses is introduced. The approach is based on statistical testing of the differences between parcel boundaries, separating similar/different owner, similar/different land-use and considering the length of the boundaries. Total number of identified parcels for all districts was 4108. Half of the boundaries length and 60% of boundaries count separated land of different owners. The rest of them separated land of one owner with different owner or with distinct parcels geometry. Our results indicate variable contrast between pairs of neighbouring land use categories. In particular, the contrast between pastures, wood-pastures and forests proved to be very low. Various factors, including land ownership, land-use, as well as landscape patch geometry and configuration were important to delineate a single parcel. We have concluded that these factors have important implications on inaccuracies and uncertainties of land use reconstructions based on old cadastral maps and used as historical baselines for current considerations on land change and environmental management.
Article
Full-text available
The existence of irregularity in the ownership and pattern of agricultural land distribution is one of the most important challenges to sustainable agricultural development, which can lead to increase production costs, wasteful time for farmers, and reduce production efficiency. Therefore, the present research was carried out with the aim of analyzing the arable land fragmentation in East Azarbaijan Province so that by identifying these impacts, could be suitable solutions proposed for coping with arable land fragmentation. The statistical society of this research is the farmers of the agricultural sector located in East Azarbaijan province (N=212926). The sample size was estimated using Cochran's formula of 380 people. They selected by the stratified sampling method. The research instrument was a questionnaire, that its validity confirmed by a group of faculty members at Tehran universities and Gorgan Agriculture University, and experts in agricultural lands working in the Land Affairs Organization of Iran. The reliability of the questionnaire was measured by Cronbach's alpha coefficient: economic impacts=0.81, social impacts=0.91, technical impacts=0.75, and management impacts=0.86. The results of prioritization of impacts of arable land fragmentation showed that the most important impacts of arable land fragmentation were: increase of the problem of water division and its transfer to the other farm, increase of production costs, and decrease of productivity of production factors, increase in transportation costs, and the waste of time in the rebellion to various parts. Also, the results of structural equation modeling showed that economic impacts (with factor load of 0.87) were the most effective outcomes among the impacts of arable land fragmentation.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Agricultural lands fragmentation and dispersion can have different effects, both positive and negative, on agricultural land productivity and productivity, given the environmental conditions prevailing on agricultural areas. So that different theories and perspectives on the agricultural lands fragmentation and dispersion have been proposed, each of which has different angles, this phenomenon has been analyzed and analyzed. These theories and perspectives have addressed the oppressive, pessimistic, or interactive view of the lands fragmentation and dispersion. A series of general theories about this phenomenon are the subject of their discussion of the "problem" or "non-issue" of the lands fragmentation and dispersion. There are conflicting evaluations as to whether or not lands fragmentation and dispersion are an issue. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to analyze and explain the rationale and dispersion of agricultural lands based on various economic theories, which can be considered as a comprehensive and impediment to the extent and severity of the effects of this phenomenon. According to the results of this study, theories of "economies of scale", "the theory of technical superiority of large lands," "theory of kraft" and "the theory of the direct relationship between farm size and productivity or efficiency in agricultural lands" as Theories of the lands fragmentation and dispersion and the theory of "the reciprocal relationship between farm size and productivity or efficiency in agricultural lands" and the theory of "prioritizing small farms" as theories of agreeing to land and dispersion of land Agriculture is prominent.
Article
Land fragmentation is an interesting physical character in some developing countries, especially China. This study aims to discover the direct and mediated effects of land fragmentation on collective action in China based on an empirical test and the social-ecological system framework. We introduce three innovations to the literature on collective action in the commons. First, we focus on the mechanism of land fragmentation on collective action in the commons, which has been largely ignored in the literature. Second, building on the social-ecological system framework, we use structural equation modeling, which is robust to endogeneity and latent variable problems. Third, we use original survey data from 3895 households and 284 villages from 17 provinces/regions in China, a critical case because China has some of the most fragmented farmland use in the world. We find that land fragmentation has a direct negative effect on irrigation collective action. And besides the direct negative effect, there are four indirect factors: dependency on farming, irrigation rule-making, economic pressure and land circulation. Of these, the first three have a negative effect, and the last one, a positive effect. Our findings add to the theoretical literature on collective action in the commons and suggest new policy handles for more efficient land and labor markets in China.
Article
This paper characterises the development of Czech agriculture in the 30 years since the change of political regime. It notes that, although ownership has changed, the structure of large farms has been maintained. There has been a reduction in livestock production in particular, which has disrupted the traditional relationship between the two principal agricultural activities. The number of workers in the primary sector has fallen very rapidly, to less than 6% now, even in rural areas. Therefore, the communities in the Czech countryside are no longer dependent on agriculture, whose role is increasingly shifting to landscape maintenance and non-productive activities. At present, subsidies under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy are the main driver in Czech agriculture. In the face of current challenges, attention needs to be paid to the environmental function of agriculture, while the impact of agricultural jobs on rural development is negligible.
Technical Report
Full-text available
In Scotland, there are no restrictions on how much land a single individual can own, and a concentrated pattern of large-scale private land ownership exists, particularly in rural areas. The Scottish Government has made it clear that it believes there is a need for change, stating that its vision is for a fairer – or wider and more equitable – distribution of land in Scotland, where communities and individuals have access to land and there is greater diversity of land ownership. This study was commissioned to enable the Scottish Land Commission to learn from international experience of imposing limits on who can own land and/or how much land any single individual or entity can own. The research identified and described restrictions on land ownership in 22 countries (18 in the EU/EEA). The countries were selected using a set of criteria to ensure lessons were learned from countries with a similar legislative context and characterised by strong regulation, governance and transaction processes, low levels of perceived corruption, and a strong property rights regime. Desk-based research identified the range of interventions in the countries, and findings were cross-checked with country experts to ensure accuracy. Interventions in the countries include restrictions that relate to: foreign ownership of land; ownership approval processes; upper and lower area limits; owner characteristics and land use requirements; pre-emptive rights to buy land; and measures to reduce land fragmentation. A range of motivations underpin the implementation of interventions to achieve policy objectives related to land ownership in the various countries. Analysis of the motivations and the interventions allowed countries to be grouped according to a typology, which identifies ‘foreign interest limiters’, ‘land use stipulators’ and ‘land consolidators’.
Article
Full-text available
Farmland ownership fragmentation is one of the important drivers of land-use changes. It is a process that in its extreme form can essentially limit land management sustainability. Based on a typology of land degradation and its causes, this process is here classified for the first time as an underlying cause which through tenure insecurity causes land degradation in five types (water erosion, wind erosion, soil compaction, reduction of organic matter, and nutrient depletion). A review of relevant literature enables the further presentation of a list of 21 types of land degradation and another extensive list of the 37 most common causes of land degradation. This work further presents an overview of harmful consequences of high farmland ownership fragmentation, and possibilities for remedying the effects. These possibilities consist of eliminating or mitigating those causes accelerating the fragmentation process, defragmenting current land ownership, and remedying the effects brought by this process.
Article
Full-text available
Farm fragmentation, in which a household operates more than one separate parcel of land, is a common phenomenon in Sub-Saharan Africa. Concerned by the perceived costs of fragmented as opposed to consolidated holdings, several countries have implemented land consolidation programs. But these interventions overlook the benefits that land fragmentation can offer farmers in managing risk, in overcoming seasonal labor bottlenecks, and in better matching soil types with necessary food crops. This article uses household data from Ghana and Rwanda to discuss the incidence and causes of fragmentation. It then formally tests the relation between fragmentation and land productivity and risk reduction. The conclusion is that consolidation programs are unlikely to lead to significant increases in land productivity and may actually make farmers worse off. Policymakers should focus instead on reducing the root causes of fragmentation: inefficiencies in land, labor, credit, and food markets.
Article
Full-text available
O objetivo deste trabalho foi avaliar os efeitos de um ecótono entre floresta e campo arável sobre comunidades de minhocas. Cinco locais (blocos) com diferentes tipos de rotação de culturas utilizados no campo foram estudados na Boêmia Central, República Tcheca. Emcada bloco, amostragens foram feitas em sete linhas paralelas perpendiculares a um transecto de floresta (carvalho ou carvalho e pinheiro), em direção ao centro de um campo, na primavera e no outono de 2001-2003. Linhas individuais foram marcadas na floresta (a 5m da borda), na borda da floresta e no campo (a 5, 10, 25, 50 e 100m da borda da floresta). Adensidade e biomassa das minhocas foi menor na floresta, aumentou marcadamente na borda da floresta, decaiu novamente a 5 ou 10m de distância da borda da floresta e aumentou continuamente com a distância até o limite do campo. Omaior número de espécies foi encontrado na borda da floresta e no limite do campo. Asespécies apresentaram distribuições diferentes ao longo do transecto. Tanto a densidade quanto a biomassa de minhocas foram correlacionadas com a distância da borda da floresta, o conteúdo de matéria orgânica do solo, a porosidade do solo e a infiltração de água.
Article
Full-text available
Many studies have recently been devoted to the study of landscape change, and some have even focused on an analysis of the dynamics of forest cover change. However, few of the studies have worked on a methodology for making a detailed investigation of long-term forest change dynamics based on historic cartographic sources. The goal of this study is to further develop a method for analyzing long-term changes in forest cover on the basis of old maps and orthophoto maps in the GIS environment. The study area is located in Central Bohemia, to the east of Kutná Hora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area consists of 21 cadastral units with a total area of 113 km2. The maps of the First (1780), Second (1851) and Third Military Surveys (1877) and the present-day orthophotomap (2007) of the Czech Republic were used as data resources. Source data have been processed in GIS. Forest cover is the subject of our study. However, the term is perceived from a broader perspective. What we call forest cover in our study refers to forest wood elements and other wood species in the landscape. In this study, forest cover has been structurally considered as a whole, without dividing it into the two categories mentioned. We counted the extent of the forest cover in each particular time horizon in hectares and as a percentage of the area under study, also the absolute changes in forest cover between the individual time horizons in hectares as well as the intensity of the changes in forest cover in hectares per year. The spatial changes in forest cover were evaluated in a GIS environment using specialized features to analyze spatial variation. The forest cover occupied 16.60% (1,880 ha) of the total area in the First Military Survey (1780). In 2007, the proportion was slightly higher at 16.64% (1,884 ha). More than half of all forest land (53%) from the time of the Second Military Survey (1851) survived until 2007. Not only the information on absolute changes but also the information on the rate of change is of great importance. The old Military Survey maps and the orthophotomap enable us to carry out studies of long-term changes in forest cover. However, the geodetic inaccuracy of the First Military Survey maps precludes reliable and exact quantification of the landscape changes between the First Military Survey and the Second Military Survey, and also between the First Military Survey and present-day (orthophoto map). These maps cannot be used for evaluating forest cover changes on the level of individual plots. The method presented in our paper may contribute to a better understanding of the long-term dynamics of forest land, covering a period of more than 250 years. This knowledge can be applied in forest management planning procedures. Apart from their application in forestry, the methods presented in this study may be of interest for historians and biologists.
Article
Full-text available
Land consolidation (LC) is an effective program for land ownership defragmentation. The main objectives of this study are: i) to analyze the characteristics of 487 study areas before and after implementation of LC; ii) to evaluate these study areas according to the influence of historical, environmental and socio-economic driving forces on the pre-LC ownership pattern, on the consolidation effect and on the financial costs of LC projects. On an average, plot size has been increased twofold and the plot shape has also achieved an evidently positive change, but the average owner still has a holding of 2.72 ha divided into more than three plots after LC. Historical factors were found to be the key driving forces for pre-LC fragmentation, while socio-economic drivers play the major role for the LC effect and in the formation of LC project costs. In contrast, the effect of natural factors is considered to be the least significant of all.
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores issues of land fragmentation, consolidation and reallocation and argues that a new planning support system for land consolidation is needed in Cyprus because of the long duration of projects, the high operational costs and the conflicts between the stakeholders involved. An Integrated Planning and Decision Support System is proposed that integrates artificial intelligence technologies and multi-criteria decision methods with a geographical information system for use in routine land consolidation planning as well as for undertaking ex ante evaluations of land consolidation projects, as required by the European Union. A framework is provided which shows how the system will contribute to reducing the problems associated with the land consolidation process.Graphical abstractHighlights► Land consolidation confronts major problems associated with land reallocation. ► Existing information systems do not adequately support land reallocation. ► A planning support system is proposed for contributing to reducing these problems. ► Expected benefits focused on the effectiveness, efficiency and transparency.
Article
Full-text available
The paper deals with the analysis of market land prices that were collected from land purchased contracts in the Czech Republic. Regression model was used to identify determinants explaining variability of market prices between 2008 and 2009. It was found out that type of plantation, region, type of buyers, plot size, distance to regional city or number of parcels play significant role. These factors explain more than a half of variance in land price. Quality of land that was expressed through administrative price has significant effect on market price. Yet, such effect became less import in regions nearby cities (e.g. Prague and Olomouc), where the market land price is significantly influenced by the distance to the district city. Land reform, however has not been confirmed to stimulate higher prices for sellers. It is reasonable to expect that part of the remaining variation could still be accounted for by non-random variables.
Article
Full-text available
Land consolidation projects (LCPs) are costly rural development actions that are often questioned. Integrated LCPs are geographically confined Land Rural Development Actions and their ex ante evaluation involves interdisciplinary research, in order to predict changes in farmers' behaviour, patterns of land use and in crops and technologies used. A model that incorporates methods for the evaluation of the performance of the agricultural system before and after the transformations proposed in the project is presented. It is argued that the systems approach is the appropriate method to integrate each particular change and evaluate the global impact of every action included in the project. The model was applied to the Valença-LCP in 1989, before project execution (Coelho, 1992 Análise de Projectos de Emparcelamento Rural. O caso de Valença do Minho. PhD thesis, UTL, ISA, Lisboa.). It evaluates each effect of the project (land, irrigation and drainage and road reconstruction) on a technical and social basis and estimates its economic impacts. The observed results used to evaluate model performance were obtained in 1995, after project implementation. The results from the comparison of model predictions (ex ante evaluation) with observations after LCP implementation (ex post evaluation) suggest that a multidisciplinary approach such as the one proposed here, supported by robust models, can be used as a reliable basis for the evaluation and decision-making process of LCPs.
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates the development of the land rental market in Bulgaria and how different factors affect contracting and land renting decisions of landowners and farmers. Our results reveal that contract conditions and property rights significantly affect land rental activities as well as other important household socioeconomic characteristics, given the imperfect access of rural households to capital and labor markets.
Article
Programmes for environmental protection and land reclamation have been deeply embedded in local political and social contexts. This article focuses on the effectiveness of such measures to control ravine erosion in the lower Chambal Valley, one of the most degraded regions in India. The study used field observation to see whether the measures had any impact on further gully and ravine formation. The findings suggest that agricultural practices, including those often based on the short-term economic needs of households, lead to inefficient land-use practices, particularly in land-levelled and reclaimed areas.
Chapter
The way jurisdiction over land is distributed among members of a community has a powerful influence over how efficiently land is used, the incidence of poverty, and the level of inequality in the community. Yet much land in less developed countries is underutilized and/or misused from a sustainability standpoint: lack of access to land or unfavorable terms of access remain a fundamental cause of poverty. In addition, unmet demands for land can be a source of political destabilization. At the same time, there presently exist unusual opportunities to reopen the issue of access to land. They include an increasing concern with the efficiency costs of inequality in land distribution, devolution of common property resource management to users, large scale redefinitions of property rights in the context of transition economies in Eastern and central Europe and the end of white rule in South Africa, liberalization of land markets, mounting pressure to deal with environmental issues, the proliferation of civil society organizations voicing the demands of the rural poor, and more democratic forms of governance. Much attention has been given to state-led redistributive land reforms. Other channels include inheritance and inter-vivos transfers, intrahousehold and intracommunity land allocations, community titling of open access resources, the distribution of common property resources and the individualization of rights, decollectivization, land markets and land market-assisted land reforms, and land rental contracts. This book analyzes each of these channels of access to land, and recommends ways of making them more effective.
Article
It has often been stated that land fragmentation and farm structures characterized by small agricultural holdings and farms divided in a large number of parcels have been the side-effect of land reform in Central and Eastern Europe. This article reports the findings of a study of land reform in 25 countries in the region from 1989 and onwards and provides an overview of applied land reform approaches. With a basis in theory on land fragmentation, the linkage between land reform approaches and land fragmentation is explored. It is discussed in which situations land fragmentation is a barrier for the development of the agricultural and rural sector. The main finding is that land fragmentation is often hampering agricultural and rural development when both land ownership and land use is highly fragmented.
Article
This paper examines how landownership patterns are, partially, both a result of and a condition for the designs that planners make for sites. Designs emerge in the process of arriving at a development plan, preceding formal plans and decisions. We claim that during that process, landownership and designs are responsive to each other. To explore this interaction, we analysed two large development projects in the Netherlands. These two projects involve regional designs followed by anticipatory land acquisition by private and public agents. For these projects we reconstructed a timeline for the designing process that we positioned parallel to the changes in landownership. The result shows that the governments that took the lead in the projects added more detail to the plans only after they secured their active role for themselves by acquiring a dominant ownership position on sites eventually meant for housing. This analysis prompts an ethical discussion on government’s double role in active land policy.
Article
Agricultural land fragmentation is widespread around the world and may affect farmers’ decisions and therefore have an impact on the performance of farms, in either a negative or a positive way. We investigated this impact for the western region of Brittany, France in 2007. To do so, we regressed a set of performance indicators on a set of fragmentation descriptors. The performance indicators (production costs, yields, revenue, profitability, technical and scale efficiency) were calculated at the farm level, using Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) data. By contrast, due to limits in the available data, the fragmentation descriptors were calculated at the municipality level, using data from the cartographic field pattern registry (RPG). The various fragmentation descriptors enabled not only the traditional number and average size of plots, but also their scattering in the geographical space, to be taken into account. The analysis brought several findings. Firstly, it is relevant to consider the various dimensions of LF when studying its impact on farm performance, in particular shape and distance considerations. Secondly, in all cases but one, the effect of the various LF descriptors on performance indicators conform to expectations, that is to say LF increases production costs and decreases yields, revenue, profitability and efficiency. Thirdly, with a simple simulation we have shown that the benefits from reducing fragmentation may differ with respect to the improved LF dimension and the performance indicator considered. Hence, when setting up consolidation programs, it may be crucial for policy-makers to first decide which performance dimension they aim at favouring in order to choose the most efficient way to do so. Finally, from a methodological point of view, our results support the relevance of using descriptors of LF at the municipality level as a proxy when farm level LF descriptors are not available.
Article
Extreme farmland ownership fragmentation is becoming a limiting factor for sustainable land management in some countries. Scattered, excessively small parcels cease to be viable for individual farming, and owners feel forced to rent these parcels to larger enterprises farming on adjacent land. Our study demonstrates a phenomenon that we call the Farmland Rental Paradox, where very small parcels tend to create large production blocks by being rented to larger farmers, and therefore to significantly homogenize the land-use pattern. The parcel size established as the threshold for this phenomenon is 1.07 ha. Below this threshold, the smaller the parcels were, the larger the blocks that they tended to create. Using the example of the Czech Republic, a state with extremely high farmland ownership fragmentation, it is demonstrated that this phenomenon can currently determine the land use of up to 40% of the country’s farmland. Our study also points to other countries where this phenomenon may apply, especially the transitional countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The study discusses the tempo of the fragmentation process, which accelerates exponentially in countries with the equal inheritance system. It goes on to discuss defragmentation, social impacts of the dominance of the land rental market, and environmental impacts of significant homogenization of the land-use pattern. The serious negative impacts of extreme land-ownership fragmentation show that this phenomenon can be considered as a significant form of land degradation.
Article
Cross-border research enables studying the importance of broad-scale political and socioeconomic factors on land-cover changes. Our plot-based study using GIS analysis of interpreted aerial photographs evaluates changes in rural landscape patterns on both sides of the Austrian–Czech border during 1952–2009. The method compares 20 pairs of 1 × 1 km unit square samples distributed along the entire common border and equally divided into four growing regions. Our findings confirm the key significance of historically dissimilar political and socioeconomic systems in the two countries that led to the occurrence of decidedly different farmland and landscape patterns in similar environmental conditions. Broad-scale political and socioeconomic factors also markedly affected the rates of change and direction of trends in landscape development during the examined period. The variability of environmental conditions had a similar influence in the two countries on the proportions of farmland and of permanent elements. We did not, however, confirm an influence of the environmental factors on heterogeneity of the landscapes. Overall, the study presents a markedly more homogenous landscape pattern in the Czech Republic than in Austria. While between 1952 and 2009 the agricultural landscapes increased in homogeneity in both countries, this occurred more so in the Czech Republic than in Austria.
Article
The underlying goal of the study is to further develop and refine an existing method for making a detailed analysis of long-term changes in land cover on the basis of old Military Survey Maps and on orthophotograph maps in the GIS environment. This method may contribute to a better understanding of the long-term landscape dynamics over a period of more than 250 years. The knowledge that is acquired can be applied in landscape planning procedures in order to provide relevant landscape management in the future. The study was carried out in the lowland area of Nové Dvory and Žehušice, Czech Republic, which comprises 21 cadastral units (a total area of 113 km2). The area is located in Central Bohemia, to the east of the town of Kutná Hora, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area of Nové Dvory and Žehušice is an intensively utilized agricultural landscape. The maps of the First (1785), Second (1851) and Third Military Surveys (1877) and the present-day orthophotograph map of the Czech Republic were used as data resources. They have been digitized, interpreted and analysed in the GIS environment. The changes in the main land cover categories correspond to the change trends in the agricultural landscape types in the Czech Republic as a whole. The most significant features of the dynamic landscape changes in the study area are a decrease in permanent grasslands (from 18% to 5%) and a decrease in water surfaces (from 6% to less than 1%), especially due to pond drainage at the end of 18th century and in the first half of 19th century, as a result of attempts to obtain more arable land. The growth of arable lands was the most remarkable change (from 53% to 67%). The Military Survey Maps provide a suitable basis for analysing and evaluating the development trends in the landscape macrostructure. However, the main shortcoming of the First Military Survey maps is that they suffer from some geodetic inaccuracy, and therefore support only an approximate quantification of the landscape changes between the First Military Survey and the other time horizons. The maps cannot be used for analyses of changes in the landscape microstructure, due to their inaccurate specification of landscape segments, and due to the scale of the original maps (scales ranging from 1:25,000 to 1:28,800), which makes them unusable for evaluating changes at the level of individual plots. When analysing the changes in the line segments on the Military Survey Maps, it is more appropriate to observe the changes in the development of the length characteristics, rather than the changes in the development of the area. Present-day orthophotograph maps are a suitable source material for surveying the state of the land covers, and for evaluating changes to them, over large areas. The legibility of the orthophotograph map depends on many factors, and these need to be taken into consideration. The method used for defining the land cover categories can have a distinct influence on the interpretation of the landscape development in the area under investigation.
Article
Agricultural land is very fragmentated in the Central European countries. This situation hampers the emergence of a private commercial farming structure. Governments and non-governmental organisations debate on programs and instruments, but these far-reaching and costly options would be unnecessary if the situation were to improve through autonomous development. This article models the causal chain connected to land fragmentation, explores alternative development paths through various scenarios and tentatively points out which scenario is most likely.
Article
a b s t r a c t The spatial variability of farmland prices is determined by factors reflecting agricultural use, and also by location-specific characteristics, which are crucial to the conversion of farmland to non-farming uses. In co-operation with experienced real-estate brokers, we collected data from 286 transactions carried out in 2008. We identified factors to be analyzed at the parcel scale and tested their effect on the variability of farmland prices in the Czech Republic using general linear modeling. Our results indicate that the most powerful factor in explaining the sale price per square metre was proximity to a settlement, and significantly higher prices were found close to existing built-up areas. The next most powerful factors were: municipality population, travel time to the capital city, accessibility of the parcel, and natural soil fertility. The results have been interpreted to determine the threshold values for significant factors that support future non-agricultural use of farmland and significantly raise current farmland prices. The values supporting non-agricultural use of farmland are proximity to a settlement (up to 100 m), proximity to a larger municipality (above 5000 inhabitants), short travel time to the capital city (up to 1 h) and accessibility to the parcel via the transportation network.
Article
A widespread inheritance pattern in eastern and southeastern Europe was based on equally partible male inheritance and excluded women from inheritance and dowry. The western transition zone to the other predominant European inheritance systems coincided with the Hajnal line, which divides the distribution of European marriage patterns in historical times. New evidence is added to the historical depth of the cultural–historical transition zone already postulated by Mitterauer. Since the early Middle Ages, this zone also marked the border region of two basic European agrarian systems: the western Grundherrschafts system, which led to the intervention of landlords into inheritance patterns and family structures of the serfs and the non-interventionist tributary systems, which left inheritance practices based on customary laws untouched until the second half of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. The above-mentioned inheritance pattern, which was also widespread in Asia, allocated a huge amount of power to the agnatic core of the family and was part of a patriarchal system shaped by patrilineality, patrilocality, low age at marriage, complex family forms, and fragmentation of the soil when demographic transition set in.
Article
This article analyses how transaction costs and imperfect competition in the land market affect the welfare effects of agricultural subsidies in the new Eastern Member States of the European Union. Benefits of land subsidies end up with landowners in new Eastern Member States also with imperfections in the new Eastern Member States land markets. With unequal access to subsidies, small tenant farmers may even lose out from the subsidies. Decoupling of payments shifts policy rents to farmers, but constrains productivity-enhancing restructuring. Using reserve entitlements to mitigate this effect reduces the intended benefits on distortions and target efficiency. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.
Article
Over the past twenty years, social and economic decline in rural areas has intensified in the Central and Eastern European countries. A precondition for the reversal of this decline is the implementation of new policies in relation to the fundamentals of land ownership and management. In addition to addressing the problems of land ownership fragmentation, these should include measures to improve agricultural production and employment, taxation policy, and legislation to protect land ownership rights, within the context of acknowledging environmental and sustainability considerations. In Europe, the requirement for readjusting unfavourable land fragmentation and promoting the appropriate use of land combining with positive environmental solutions is expected to create new sustainable land management systems. The consolidation of land ownerships may be an effective and active land management instrument which not only addresses the problems of land fragmentation, but also, if applied sensitively, may be an instrument for delivering sustainable rural development in a wider context. The aim of this research is to investigate land consolidation as an essential tool to create sustainable rural areas in Lithuania.
Article
Fragmentation of landholdings is commonly regarded as a major obstacle to agricultural production growth in China. This study analyses the factors contributing to land fragmentation, and uses household- and village-level data from 11 villages in Jiangxi Province to test these factors empirically. Our analysis shows that land fragmentation in China is caused to a large extent by the egalitarian principles used in distributing and reallocating land use rights to households. Land within each village is classified into different classes, with each household receiving land from each class. Moreover, land is basically assigned on the basis of household size, with large households receiving substantially more (and slightly bigger) plots than small households. We further find that incomes from off-farm employment and land rental markets are associated with lower land fragmentation. Limited market access does not induce land fragmentation. Instead, we find that landholdings in suburban areas are more fragmented, probably because farmers cultivate a wider range of (high value-added) crops in these areas. We conclude that, although land fragmentation has slightly declined during the 1990s, it is likely to remain high in China if the current principles underlying land distribution within villages are maintained. Three policy options for reducing land fragmentation are suggested.
Article
Landholdings and land parcels in South Asia are undergoing fragmentation, thereby accelerating the pace of their degradation and constraining agricultural development. Based on experiences gained in the region and elsewhere, this paper finds the fragmentation of small landholdings and tiny land parcels detrimental to land conservation and economic gain, thereby discouraging farmers from adoption of agricultural innovations. Primarily induced by the dependency of the major proportion of ever growing population on agriculture, the process of land fragmentation has been reinforced by the law of inheritance of paternal property, lack of progressive tax on inherited land, heterogeneous land quality and an underdeveloped land market. South Asian countries have had adopted policies and legal measures for facilitating land consolidation. However, desirable results were not achieved, as such interventions could not address structural causes of the problem. Broad policy and legal measures have been outlined for facilitating land consolidation in a sustainable way.
Article
Remnants of medieval field patterns, called “pluzina” in the Czech Republic, are valuable historical landscapes, similar in character to the bocage landscapes typical for some countries in Western Europe. The original historical pattern of fields and meadows has persisted due to the stabilizing network of hedgerows. As in other countries, the development of these medieval fields in recent decades for intensive agriculture or residential purposes has led to their dramatic decline.This study evaluates the dynamics of the development of medieval pluzina hedgerows during the second half of the 20th century in the Plzen Region of the Czech Republic, using three datasets from 1840, 1950 and 2005. Between 1950 and 2005, 341 out of 483 hedgerows disappeared in the study areas, and the total length of the hedgerows decreased by 71%. At the same time, the average hedgerow width increased from 7.2 m in 1950 to 13.1 m in 2005. The study further tests the influence of three natural factors (natural soil fertility, slope gradient and aspect) and of historical (1950) and current (2005) land uses on the disappearance of hedgerows. The most significant factor that has contributed to the disappearance of hedgerows is the current land use in adjacent areas, grassland being by far the most conducive to the persistence of pluzinas. In addition, current land use has significantly influenced the hedgerow dynamics when assessed in interactions with slope gradient and with historical land use. The results of the study further show a significant influence of natural soil fertility. Our findings confirm two main trends which lead to the disappearance of medieval land use systems. Extensification of agricultural land leads to its abandonment and to afforestation of fields adjacent to the hedgerows as a result of spontaneous succession. On the other hand, intensification means that land adjacent to the hedgerow is used as arable land and gradual expansion leads to field enlargement, hedgerow removal and consequently to the disappearance of the entire medieval field patterns. The paper also discusses the principles of conservation and restoration of these valuable historical landscapes.
Article
This paper reviews the process of land consolidation in Galicia, Spain. Economic, social and environmental evaluation have been carried out, comparing consolidated and non-consolidated areas. It is easier to measure efficiency than impact at smaller scales, because of the lack of appropriate indicators or larger data records. Land use is considered an operative indicator at a larger scale, showing that land consolidation contributes to retaining farmland in agricultural use, although we observe changes in use from cropland to pasture land.
Article
This article analyses how transaction costs and imperfect competition in the land market affect the welfare effects of agricultural subsidies in the new Eastern Member States of the European Union. Benefits of land subsidies end up with landowners in new Eastern Member States also with imperfections in the new Eastern Member States land markets. With unequal access to subsidies, small tenant farmers may even lose out from the subsidies. Decoupling of payments shifts policy rents to farmers, but constrains productivity-enhancing restructuring. Using reserve entitlements to mitigate this effect reduces the intended benefits on distortions and target efficiency.
Article
We investigate the dynamics and spatial distribution of land use fragmentation in a rapidly urbanizing region of the United States to test key propositions regarding the evolution of sprawl. Using selected pattern metrics and data from 1973 and 2000 for the state of Maryland, we find significant increases in developed and undeveloped land fragmentation but substantial spatial heterogeneity as well. Estimated fragmentation gradients that describe mean fragmentation as a function of distance from urban centers confirm the hypotheses that fragmentation rises and falls with distance and that the point of maximum fragmentation shifted outward over time. However, rather than outward increases in sprawl balanced by development infill, we find substantial and significant increases in mean fragmentation values along the entire urban–rural gradient. These findings are in contrast to the results of Burchfield et al. [Burchfield M, Overman HG, Puga D, Turner MA (2006) Q J Econ 121:587–633], who conclude that the extent of sprawl remained roughly unchanged in the Unites States between 1976 and 1992. As demonstrated here, both the data and pattern measure used in their study are systematically biased against recording low-density residential development, the very land use that we find is most strongly associated with fragmentation. Other results demonstrate the association between exurban growth and increasing fragmentation and the systematic variation of fragmentation with nonurban factors. In particular, proximity to the Chesapeake Bay is negatively associated with fragmentation, suggesting that an attraction effect associated with this natural amenity has concentrated development. • land use change • landscape metrics • spatial pattern • urban gradient • urbanization
Article
This paper analyzes the determinants of household farms’ participation in land rental markets in transition countries. We derive several hypotheses on the impact of households’ human capital, land endowment, land quality and prices, transaction costs, rural credit, and labor market constraints. Our empirical analysis uses data from a representative survey of more than 1 400 Hungarian household farms and Hungarian official statistics. Land rental markets reallocate land to households with better farm management capacities. Households combine buying and renting of land to extend their farms. Land ownership is fragmented and land consolidation occurs through renting. The domination of corporate farms in some regions restricts households’ access to land.
Article
With a view to its use in relation to land consolidation programmes, we present an index for evaluation of land distributions that takes both plot size and plot shape into account and is designed for computer implementation in a geographical information system. The new Combined Size and Shape Index, is essentially the average of two estimates of tillage time per hectare, one based on plot size and the other on plot shape. It is envisaged that it will be useful for identification of areas in which land consolidation is most urgent, for evaluation of consolidation projects, and for consolidation project optimization. Examples are given of its application to forest and to arable land in Galicia (NW Spain).
Aspects of land consolidation after the Bulgarian land reform
  • D Kopeva
  • N Noev
Kopeva, D., Noev, N., 2001. Aspects of land consolidation after the Bulgarian land reform. In: Proceedings of the International Workshop on the New Structure of the Rural Economy of Post-Communist Countries. October 26-30th, Lomnice nad Luznici, Czech Republic. pp. 123-159.
What determines the Czech land market prices? Some regional findings. AGRIS on-line
  • T Medonos
  • V Vilhelm
  • M Hruska
  • L Jelinek
Medonos, T., Vilhelm, V., Hruska, M., Jelinek, L., 2011. What determines the Czech land market prices? Some regional findings. AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics 3 (4), 41-53.
Cooperation in the Romanian Countryside: An Insight into Post-Soviet Agriculture
  • R Sabates-Wheeler
Sabates-Wheeler, R., 2005. Cooperation in the Romanian Countryside: An Insight into Post-Soviet Agriculture. Lexington Books, USA.
Vývoj soukromého práva na území českých zemí (I. díl). Masarykova univerzita
  • L Vojáček
  • K Schelle
  • J Tauchen
  • P Salák
  • Z Králíčková
  • I Průchová
  • R Veselá
  • R Dávid
  • M Frýdek
  • I Stará
  • M Cempírek
Vojáček, L., Schelle, K., Tauchen, J., Salák, P., Králíčková, Z., Průchová, I., Veselá, R., Dávid, R., Frýdek, M., Stará, I., Cempírek, M., 2012. Vývoj soukromého práva na území českých zemí (I. díl). Masarykova univerzita, Brno 616 pp.